Tag: Nancy Pelosi

Trump Impeachment: Mitch McConnell seeks impeachment trial delay until February

Trump Impeachment: Mitch McConnell seeks impeachment trial delay until February

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader is proposing a delay in impeachment trial of Donald Trump to February, to give his team some time to prepare and review for the trial case. 

House, led by Democrats, had voted last week to impeach Trump for inciting the violence and Capitol Hill attack on January 6. The House wants quick progression into the trial with President Joe Biden beginning his term. Majority of representatives are in favor of stern action to bring justice to the heinous crime against American democracy and the sanctum sanctorum of it, Capitol Hill. 

During a call on Thursday with other GOP senators, McConnell said that a short delay in trial would help Trump’s legal team prepare for the case. 

Mike Braun, Indiana senator said that trial might begin by mid-February. He mentioned it is “due to the fact that the process as it occurred in the House evolved so quickly, and that it is not in line with the time you need to prepare for a defense in a Senate trial.” 

Timing of the trial will be set by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as McConnell and Chuck Schumer, the new Senate Majority leader. Schumer is to lead the Senate according to the fact that Democrats won two Senate seats from Georgia that were the deciding seats for Senate win. But the divide is so narrow, that trial decision would be impacted by Republicans say. Currently, Schumer and McConnell are in negotiations on how to frame a 50-50 partisan divide in Senate. 

The key agendas in line, the legislation for which Democrats hope to pass on priority are trial proceeding and President Biden’s relief package including coronavirus relief fund. Their pass would need Republican support in Senate too. 

Pelosi is expected to send the trial article “incitement for insurrection” to Senate by Friday. On Thursday Pelosi said, “It will be soon, I don’t think it will be long, but we must do it.” 

Democrats and many Republicans are clear about one thing – Donald Trump must be impeached for the Capitol violence, which acted as the last straw in the sack. Nancy Pelosi said that in no condition does Trump deserve a “get out of jail card.” 

Mitch McConnell said this week that Trump had “provoked” his supporters leading to riots in the Hill. But he hasn’t confirmed if he would vote for his impeachment, but made a point referring to it to be a “vote of conscience”

Pence rejects invoking of 25th Amendment few hours before House vote

Pence rejects invoking of 25th Amendment few hours before House vote

Pence rejects: Tuesday night Vice President Mike Pence made it crystal clear that he has no plans and won’t be invoking 25th Amendment that would potentially remove President Donald Trump from Oval Office. Pence forwarded his stand in a letter released few hours before ahead of House vote on resolution that urged him to take the said stand to protect democracy and office. 

The said resolution that calls on VP Pence to invoke 25th Amendment was brought in front by Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland. The resolution calls on Pence “to immediately use his powers under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments in the Cabinet to declare what is obvious to a horrified nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties of his office.”

For the 25th Amendment to be passed, Vice President Pence has to invoke it, and with support of majority of Cabinet the President would be removed from office. This would be followed by the Vice President assuming the powers and responsibilities of the office as Acting President. 

However, VP Pence’s office released letter shutting down the plan to Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker. 

Letter by Pence read, “With just eight days left in the President’s term, you and the Democratic caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment. I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution.” 

Nevertheless, the passed resolution in the House, led by Democrats, is a symbol of rebuke of President’s consistent actions that led to horrifying Capitol Hill breach and riots on Wednesday. 

As Pence rejected idea of invoking the 25th Amendment, the House Democrats will continue moving forward for impeaching the President, a second time, on charges of “incitement of insurrection” – his repeated baseless claims of rigged elections calling on his supporters to fight back and reverse the results of November Presidential election. House Democrats will vote to impeach Trump on Wednesday. 

Multiple Republicans are also coming out in support of impeaching Trump. Republican Liz Cheney, the third number House Republican, urged GOP members during a Monday conference call that impeachment vote is a “vote of conscience”. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pointed that he believes impeaching Trump will enable getting rid of him from the Republican Party. However, he hasn’t made it clear of his vote on Wednesday. McConnell has been furious over last week’s Capitol Hill riots that were incited by President Trump but has deliberately maintained silence on his stand on impeachment, keeping his option of supporting the impeachment process open. 

Trump impeachment process fast-tracks as Democrats build up the momentum

Trump impeachment process fast-tracks as Democrats build up the momentum

Trump impeachment process: The shocking and horrifying unfolding of the Capitol Hill riots acted as the last straw in sack to kick-start the impeachment process of outgoing president Donald Trump. Undoubtedly, one of the most controversial president to have occupied the White House, Trump didn’t leave the last few weeks of his presidency sans controversy and mayhem. The Wednesday Capitol Hill breach by pro-Trump mob was the ticking bomb as infurious Democrats and a good number of Republicans have fast-tracked impeachment of Trump for as early as Monday. 

On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Democrats are ready and prepared to start impeachment next week if Donald Trump doesn’t resign. Earlier in afternoon, after Democratic caucus call, Pelosi said that Democrats are prepared to explore every option and use it, including legislation establishment under the 25th Amendment Act that can cause Trump’s removal as well as impeachment. 

Pelosi said, “It is the hope of Members that the President will immediately resign. But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment. Accordingly, the House will preserve every option, including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment.”

Impeachment resolution is planned to be introduced by House Democrats on Monday as session commences. The impeachment resolution draft consists of “incitement of insurrection” article. The House Rules Committee will meet on Monday or Tuesday to decide on the approval of the impeachment resolution debate. 

As the timeline suggests, it is possible that impeachment vote will be held by mid next week.

However, memo released by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell states that the earliest Senate can take up passed articles for impeachment is after Trump’s presidency term ends. He said that Senate cannot consider the articles while in recess. 

During Friday caucus call, Pelosi made it clear that her priority would be either Trump resigning or Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump from power. But she also made it clear that in absence of any of the preferred mode of actions, impeachment was a big option. She also said that the possibility of impeaching Trump now is much greater than it was in 2019 when he was first impeached. 

GOP too is exasperated and frustrated at Trump’s actions lately that provoked and enabled his supporters to breach Capitol, the monument signifying America’s democracy. On Friday, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican from Alaska, was the first Senate Republican to call for Trump’s resignation. “I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” she said.

Some might argue that it is too late to impeach Trump and that its only about 2 weeks left for his term to end. But when the country known as world’s biggest democracy has been tempered with the very person who is supposed to safeguard it, justice served is never late. 

Republicans back Democrats in passing Defense Bill, overruling Trump’s decision

Republicans back Democrats in passing Defense Bill, overruling Trump’s decision

Defense Bill: On Friday, in a rare New Year Session, Senate passed the Defense Bill with 81-13 votes (crossing the minimum bar of attaining two-thirds majority) overruling America’s outgoing President Donald Trump’s decision. This was the first time in Trump’s presidency that his own party members voted against his decision, invalidating his veto power. The bill was passed two days before the new Congress was to be sworn in, as scheduled for Sunday.

Last week, Trump had threatened to veto the Defence Bill, also known as National Defense Authorization Act. The $740bn bill proposed multiple elements ranging from military pay rise, modernisation of equipments, programs, construction projects to geopolitical issues. Trump refused to sign the bill as it limited Trump’s power as the nation head to transfer fund towards his border wall project and his objection to renaming of American military bases, which otherwise were named after figures from the Confederacy. Besides, Trump argued that the bill did not remove Section 230, the law which protected internet companies from being held responsible for the content posted on their websites by them or third parties. 

The President responded on Twitter hours after the first veto override of his presidency, saying, “Our Republican Senate just missed the opportunity to get rid of Section 230, which gives unlimited power to Big Tech companies. Pathetic!!!”

Trump while expressing his opposition with regard to the bill said “I have been clear in my opposition to politically motivated attempts like this to wash away history and to dishonor the immense progress our country has fought for in realizing our founding principles.”

US constitution allows the president to veto a bill passed by Congress, but the lawmakers together can invalidate president’s veto power if they uphold the bill with two-thirds majority of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Trump’s veto irked his fellow Republicans who take pride in passing the defence bill every year for the past 60 years.

Mitch McConnell, a Senate leader and Kentucky Republican, who brought the bill to the floor said, “We’ve passed this legislation 59 years in a row. And one way or another, we’re going to complete the 60th annual NDAA and pass it into law before this Congress concludes on Sunday.”

“For 60 years in a row, the NDAA has provided necessary support for our troops and national security,” Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. “Today’s vote sent a clear message that Congress will not allow President Trump to stand in the way of that support, and I’m relieved the critical bipartisan priorities we fought for will become law,” he added.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in her own statement.“The full United States Congress, with these sweeping and overwhelmingly bipartisan votes, has delivered a resounding rebuke to President Trump’s reckless assault on America’s military and national security”.

The U.S. House challenges president Trump on Defense Act

The U.S. House challenges president Trump on Defense Act

Trump on Defense Act: The United States Parliament, the House controlled by the Democrats, challenges again President Donald Trump and overturns his veto on the National Defense Authorization Act. The provision now passes to the Senate: if approved by two-thirds of the votes, it would be the first override of Trump’s presidency. The document is worth 740 billion dollars and is approved by a majority of the House and Senate. Trump opposed it with the veto because it does not contain the immunity for social network’s abolition and the possibility to change the names of the military base headed to Confederate characters. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the veto “an act of disconcerting recklessness that damages our troops, endangers our security and undermines the will of Congress.”

The House also approved with 275 votes in favor and 134 against, thus exceeding two-thirds of the majority required for quick voting procedures, the increase from $ 600 to $ 2,000 for direct aid to the Americans. The $ 1,400 increase was requested by Donald Trump in signing the 900 billion stimulus plan for the economy. A signature was suffered by the outgoing president, who initially threatened the veto on the provision. Then, following the pressure of many party comrades, Trump took a step back and signed. Joe Biden was also in favor of the increase in aid from $ 600 to $ 2,000. “Yes,” the president-elect replied when asked if he supported heavier checks for Americans.

Senator Jack Reed, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the House vote a “stinging rebuke” of The Donald. Mike Rogers, replacing the Republican Mac Thornberry from Texas as the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, decided in favor of the override. “This year’s bipartisan National Defense Act meets the challenges our war fighters face now, and it shapes how our military will win future conflicts,” he stated. Trump vetoed the Act on Dec. 23. The massive law sets policies affecting every aspect of military operations. The bill earlier this month crossed both chambers with broad bipartisan support, the House voted in favor of the bill 335-78-1, and the Senate vote was 84-13. The President’s desk received it on Dec. 11.

The plan includes, among other things, the confirmation of the extension of unemployment benefits and the payment of a check for $ 600 per person for those who earn less than $ 75,000 a year. In addition, the moratorium on evictions is extended and billions of dollars are allocated to help states in the distribution of the vaccine and to help small businesses, airlines, transport companies. Trump had insisted on a direct check to Americans of at least $ 2,000 and had called the plan “a shame”, albeit developed thanks to the mediation of his Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, who had allowed the agreement between Republicans and Democrats Congress.

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